First Observation of Hawking Radiation

At Technology Review’s arXiv blog, referencing Hawking radiation from ultrashort laser pulse filaments

For some time now, astronomers have been scanning the heavens looking for signs of Hawking radiation. So far, they’ve come up with zilch.

Today, it looks as if they’ve been beaten to the punch by a group of physicists who say they’ve created Hawking radiation in their lab. These guys reckon they can produce Hawking radiation in a repeatable unambiguous way, finally confirming Hawking’s prediction.

This is a major discovery, if the results are confirmed.

The key point:

…black holes aren’t the only place where event horizons can form. Any medium in which waves travel can support an event horizon and in theory, it should be possible to see Hawking radiation in these media too.

It will still be a major discovery when Hawking radiation from a black hole, as Hawking originally predicted, is actually observed. However, that is not going to happen in a terrestrial laboratory.

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